In this top-notch suspense novel, Tom Grant, a former Detective Superintendent of the London police now working as a stand-in for a famous movie star, discovers a several-years-old corpse during filming in the Queensland Outback. At the same time, the newspapers feature the sensational story of an elderly woman allegedly killed by dingos (wild dogs) near where the other body was found. At first there seems to be no connection between the two cases. Soon, however, Alison Easterbrook, the woman's niece and heiress who is Grant's new love interest, finds the circumstances of her aunt's death suspicious and her activities immediately preceding it uncharacteristic--she had been buying expensive artwork at auction. Grant also encounters an old police friend, Ned Caton, who in a terrified drunken stupor mentions a professional killer known as Funnelweb. A killing during filming at Brisbane's most exclusive country club is followed by Alison's kidnapping and a terror-filled flight through the Outback. West's mystery has well-drawn characters set in a locale that has not been overused. The realistic-sounding movie-making milieu is lagniappe. (Sept.)
Lean, precision prose and well-directed, exciting action place this work in the more exalted ranks of suspenseful thrillers. Ex-detective Tom Grant, visiting Australia as stunt man for a film, becomes involved in the mysterious death of a friend's wealthy aunt--a well-meaning art collector swindled out of a million dollars. Organized prostitution, colorful street punks, a slick, hired assassin, and trained killer dingoes enliven the proceedings. An inspired effort and shades of better Cleary.